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Laws on Rear Overhang for Pickup Truck Loads

Updated June 13, 2017

Federal laws, along with specific state laws mandate how loads that overhang the bed of a pickup truck be marked.

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Load Extension

If any load projects out over the rear of a pickup truck by four feet or more, it must be marked. In addition, if a load projects further than four inches from the side of a truck bed, it must also be marked to ensure the safety of all drivers.


Flags used to mark the extended load must be either red or orange. The flag must be at least 18 inches in diameter. If the flag is triangular in shape, many states require it to be at least 12 inches in each direction.


The position of the flag is important because it must be visible to other drivers. If the load overhangs the rear, the flag should be placed at the extreme rear of the load. An additional flag is needed if the load is more than two feet wide.

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About the Author

Candice Geier has been a journalist since 2008. Her work has appeared in the "Pueblo Chieftain," "Colorado Central Magazine" and on the Colorado State University-Pueblo Today website, as well as in its quarterly magazine. Geier received a Bachelor of Science from Colorado State University, where she was the managing editor for the university magazine.

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